JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. — Asante confirmed on Friday that a newly detected case of coronavirus in Josephine County is one of the medical company's employees. It is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county.
"Today we received notice that an Asante employee in Josephine County has tested positive for COVID-19. Health care privacy and confidentiality laws prevent us from disclosing any information about the person," Asante said in a statement.
Josephine County public health officials announced the new case earlier on Friday, but without any identifying features about the individual. Officials said that they were officially notified by the Oregon Health Authority on Friday morning.
Asante said in its statement that it is working closely with public health officials to find any employees, patients, or community members who have been in close contact with the patient. The County said that this would occur over the next week.
"Through contact tracing, the public health department will contact anyone who is identified. If contact tracing does not identify you as someone who may have come in contact with this individual, you should feel assured that you are not at risk," Asante said.
The company said that is has been preparing for the prospect of people catching the new coronavirus in southern Oregon, and says it is "ready to meet the challenges" posed by the pandemic.
"We remain committed to providing the highest quality care to our patients while ensuring the safety of our health care workers," Asante said. "We continue to partner with our local health departments and other community leaders on ways to help limit the spread of novel coronavirus."
Josephine County has received results back from 36 coronavirus tests, with just the single positive result at this time. Public health officials will not say how many samples have been taken in total to date.
"We urge everyone to review their own, personal actions to help limit the spread of COVID-19 within our communities," Asante said. "For persons who have mild symptoms and think they might have COVID-19, Asante has established a COVID-19 hotline at (541) 789-2813 to help answer questions, and ensure persons with symptoms of COVID-19 can be appropriately evaluated and receive the right level of care."
The Oregon Health Authority will not include this case in its daily report of new cases across the state until tomorrow, County officials said.
Jackson County saw two cases announced on March 7, while Klamath County had one case. Health officials in Klamath County have since said that the patient in their area has recovered. None of these cases required hospitalization, all three were travel-related, and all were quarantined at home.